Chadwick Boseman, known for his role in Marvel’s Black Panther, died on Friday after a four-year battle with cancer.
The actor, who was diagnosed with Stage 3 colon cancer in 2016 before it progressed to Stage 4, died at home with his wife and family, according to a statement posted on his Twitter account. He was 43 years old.
“A true fighter, Chadwick persevered through it all, and brought you so many of the films you have come to love so much,” the statement said. “From Marshall to Da 5 Bloods, August Wilson’s Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom and several more, all were filmed during and between countless surgeries and chemotherapy.”
Boseman played Black icons such as James Brown, Thurgood Marshall, and Jackie Robinson, as well as his most groundbreaking role as King T’Challa in Black Panther. “It was the honor of his career to bring King T’Challa to life in Black Panther,” the statement said.
News of Boseman’s death was met with shock and grief. On social media, tributes poured in from prominent figures including President Obama, Oprah Winfrey, and Martin Luther King III, as well as Diddy, Mariah Carey, Cardi B, Drake, and more.
The Weeknd, who contributed to the Black Panther soundtrack, was overcome with emotion. “this is too heartbreaking. gone way too soon. rip,” he wrote alongside a photo of the late actor.
“I’m so shocked and heartbroken about Chadwick,” tweeted John Legend. “He was such a bright light, such a gifted performer. He brought grace, elegance and power to everything he did. He always seemed to carry our ancestors with him. And now he joins them far too soon.”
SZA, whose song “All the Stars” served as the theme to Black Panther, recalled meeting Boseman. “Down as hell about this shit . Wow .. thank you for changing our lives !!!… thank you for always being kind. I’m so Honored to have met you at all . A TRUE LEGEND AND LIGHT ! praying for your family’s guidance and ultimate healing rn Rest well King.”
A grateful Diddy honored the real life superhero. “My brotha I’m truly gonna miss you! You brought all of our hero’s to life. We thank you! Rest In Peace Chadwick Boseman,” he wrote.
Mariah Carey added, “This is heartbreaking. Thank you for persevering through it all. You leave behind an incredible body of work and an inspiring legacy. Rest in power. Chadwick Forever.”
Ciara reflected on meeting Boseman, calling him the “kindest, chill, and most peaceful person,” while Chris Brown shared a mural that he painted alongside Kobe Bryant in honor of Boseman’s Black Panther character.
Toni Braxton recalled Boseman telling her that his favorite song of hers was “You Mean the World to Me.” “Our makeup artists are friends and he used to get on the phone and ask me to sing ‘You Mean The World To Me’ because it was his favorite song of mine,” she said, “and now this song will be forever dedicated to him. Rest In Power King.”
Big Sean reflected on Boseman’s “incredible work and sacrifice,” while The Game was reminded of Kobe Bryant’s tragic death. “Losses like this make you truly question things in life as a whole,” said the Compton rapper.
Cardi B, who performed on “SNL” in 2018 when Boseman hosted, honored his “true warrior” spirit. “Rest In Peace KING. Shit is soo sad man. Praying for his family. All that work and impact he did while battling cancer. True warrior shit,” she wrote.
Others including Jennifer Lopez, Nas, 50 Cent, and Chance the Rapper also mourned the devastating loss. Read some of the heartfelt tributes below.
Chadwick came to the White House to work with kids when he was playing Jackie Robinson. You could tell right away that he was blessed. To be young, gifted, and Black; to use that power to give them heroes to look up to; to do it all while in pain – what a use of his years. https://t.co/KazXV1e7l7
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) August 29, 2020
What a gentle gifted SOUL. Showing us all that Greatness in between surgeries and chemo. The courage, the strength, the Power it takes to do that. This is what Dignity looks like. https://t.co/U3OOnJVS42
— Oprah Winfrey (@Oprah) August 29, 2020
We are heartbroken. You meant so much to so many! A real life super hero among us and you will be deeply missed, Chadwick 🙏🏽 Rest in paradise powerful soul!
— Alicia Keys (@aliciakeys) August 29, 2020
I’m so shocked and heartbroken about Chadwick. He was such a bright light, such a gifted performer. He brought grace, elegance and power to everything he did. He always seemed to carry our ancestors with him. And now he joins them far too soon.
— John Legend (@johnlegend) August 29, 2020
This is heartbreaking. Thank you for persevering through it all. You leave behind an incredible body of work and an inspiring legacy. Rest in power. Chadwick Forever. https://t.co/grXopcMLCq
— Mariah Carey (@MariahCarey) August 29, 2020
Our makeup artists are friends and he used to get on the phone and ask me to sing “You Mean The World To Me” because it was his favorite song of mine and now this song will be forever dedicated to him. Rest In Power King. https://t.co/SnSn1UdhUB
— Toni Braxton (@tonibraxton) August 29, 2020
RIP Chadwick, thank you for all you gave us… You were always so solid and showed so much love each time we crossed paths. Damn
— G-Eazy (@G_Eazy) August 29, 2020
CANCEL EVERYTHING. MY GODDDDDDDDD.
— Janelle Monáe, Cindi Mayweather (@JanelleMonae) August 29, 2020